2.5-3.0-TONNE CAPACITY LIFTING JACKS
If you work on cars even semiregularly, a decent-quality trolley jack is essential – but it needn’t break the bank. Rob Marshall says that a budget of around £100 should yield a worthwhile candidate.
Not only have cars become bigger, they are also heavier and taller. The number of 4x4, MPVS, SUVS, Crossovers and the like have meant that the oncepopular £50 one-tonne aftermarket trolley jack is neither the most practical, nor the safest option for reliable DIY lifting. Furthermore, a more substantial trolley jack is likely to last longer and represent better value for money.
Surprisingly, semi-professional jacks, with a rated 2.5-3.0 tonne maximum capacity, are available for around £100. But even within this price range, not all of them are born equal and there are many options, depending on your needs.
The test procedure
With a choice of sizes, specifications and hydraulic types, we assessed each product that was submitted to us by its retailer for build quality, cost, ease of use, features and useful lifting height. As virtually all of the jacks under test had the same maximum weight capacity, we considered also the saddle size. This is relevant, because the smaller the lifting head, the more likely damage is to be inflicted on the vehicle, especially if you use jacking points on the sills to support the weight. We also investigated whether any protective rubber pads were supplied as standard equipment. A quick-lift facility is also beneficial, to reduce the annoying need to pump the jack handle repeatedly to raise the saddle to the appropriate height. We also assessed the quick-lift’s ability to permit accurate positioning without dropping, which saves time. The jacks were all evaluated for their ease of manoeuvrability on a flat, concrete floor, as well as their stability under load, which is a critical safety consideration.
All of the jack manufacturers insisted that their products were for lifting purposes only and advised strongly that a vehicle’s weight must also be supported by axle stands before you venture beneath it – advice that we echo.